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A leaked release schedule from Microsoft shows Windows 8 possibly arriving in 2011.  (Source: MSDN Blogs; Chris Green (former Microsoft developer))
Microsoft has plenty to feel good about these days

Microsoft struggled under a negative public image during the Vista years.  However, the work it did would help to lay the foundation for Windows 7, perhaps Microsoft's most popular operating system to date.  The new OS, which was released last October, was extremely well received thanks in part to an unprecedented public test program that saw millions download free trial builds of early versions of the OS and suggest ways Microsoft could improve it.

Now Windows 7 has hit a market share of 10 percent according to market research firm Net Applications.  To put those gains in context, Windows Vista did not hit over 10 percent until May 2008 – what took Windows Vista 16 months to achieve, Windows 7 did in a mere 5 months.

Currently, Windows Vista has around a 20 percent market share, while the nine-year-old Windows XP holds 60 to 70 percent market share.

Despite the emphatic success of Windows 7, the fastest selling OS in history, Microsoft is hard at work improving the operating system and its successors  Microsoft is reportedly readying Windows 7 Service Pack 1 for a June 2010 beta release and a September 2010 final release.  The SP1 will bring out of the box support for USB 3.0, one of the most exciting new computer technologies.

And according to Chris Green, a former Microsoft developer, Microsoft is already hard at work on the best-selling operating system's successor, code named Windows 8.  The next-gen Windows may be released on July 2011.  He leaked an entire release schedule which includes the upcoming Office 2010 and its successor Office 2012.

Microsoft also had some other good news to report.  In January 2010, Internet Explorer 8 became the world's most used browser, passing IE 6.  IE 8 currently has about a 22.31 percent market share worldwide.  Internet Explorer 8's gains have been partially fueled by Windows 7's success -- IE 8 is the default browser on the U.S. edition of the OS.  

IE 8 also has benefited from a recent push by Microsoft to get users away from IE 6 and IE 7, both of which have a flaw that was exploited by Chinese hackers to steal corporate data.  Microsoft is urging users to upgrade to the new browser.  Amazingly 20.07 percent of users in January still used IE 6 (many of these were likely business users).  Google recently announced that it would be phasing out support for IE 6.

Microsoft appears to be firing on all cylinders.  If it can continue its momentum with the release of Office 2010 later this year, it should be in a very favorable position at the year's end.

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RE: IE 8 top browser
By theapparition on 2/3/2010 11:42:03 AM , Rating: 5
Better check your facts there. In the latest round of testing, posted here on DT, IE8 was the most secure browser and Firefox was actually quite weak in the field.

I use both IE8 and FF, and while Adblock is a nice addition, I don't find FF "leaps and bounds" better. So to say the FF is superiour is subjective at best.

I don't care what browser you use. Happy with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE, Opera, or whoseitwhats, I don't care. It's only a browser, not a life choice.

But don't spread misinformation.

RE: IE 8 top browser
By Targon on 2/3/2010 1:22:53 PM , Rating: 2
Secure is the key word here, but as others have said on the subject, bug reports for most browsers are kept hidden, so no one really knows how many bugs those other products have. As a result, you can't really go on the so-called official reports, because they are skewed based on a lack of information about most products.

The only way to tell which is the most secure would be to set up a series of web servers serving up pages with various known exploits and security holes, and then see which browsers allow the exploits to get through. I doubt that any of the people doing the so-called testing have actually done this to see which browsers are the most vulnerable.

The same configuration could also be used to see how well the various anti-virus packages keep people SAFE. Cleaning up after your computer is infected is a LOT more difficult than keeping the computer safe in the first place, and really, it is more important to know which products do the best job of keeping malware off computers in the first place.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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